Seven signs you may be destined for the life of a professional blackjack player.
Countless people have fancied themselves a blackjack pro, seated at
the felt, slowly nursing a gin and tonic, pretending not to know –
or even to care about – the exact number chips steadily mounting in
front of them. They seem to have it all figured out – even how to
beat the casinos.
The truth is, it’s not all fun and games (pardon the pun). A great
deal of work goes into the pro gambler’s lifestyle. Their brains are
constantly working on overdrive. And no matter how smart they are or
how hard they try, not every day is a good one.
Those that have what it takes to be a pro blackjack player understand
this all too well. Some of them, despite possessing all the
requisites skills, still refuse to take on such a volatile career.
Others wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Could You be a Professional Blackjack Player?
The following is a brief list of signs that you may have what it
takes to play blackjack professionally. If you answer a stalwart
“No!” to any of these questions, you’re probably not cut out for
#1 Do you enjoy skill-based gaming?
Blackjack is easily the most strategy-based game of all casino
amusements. If you enjoy brain-games, numbers games, puzzles, or any
other type of games that require computation and logical thinking to
win, you are more likely to enjoy playing blackjack with strategy.
Those who like these games see blackjack as a worthy challenge, while
others tend to get bored with the monotony of it all.
#2 Do you have the patience to learn all there is to know?
Blackjack is not a game you master in a day, a week, or even a month.
Learning a basic strategy – one that dictates all situational moves
for you – is just the beginning. There are all different rules you
may come across. Each will raise or lower the house edge in some way.
You have to know the good and bad rules, and how they will impact
your return, so you know when to pass on a table, or when to adjust
#3 Do you understand and denounce the “Gambler’s Fallacy”?
The “gambler’s fallacy” is the all-too-common
theory that a player is ‘due for a win’.
“I’ve lost five times in a row, I’m bound to win this next one!
Let me double up my bets to cover some of those losses…”
No one is ever “due” for a win or loss. Prescribing to the
gambler’s fallacy is the quickest way to go broke, if not into debt.
If must understand this and be capable of resisting the seemingly
logical, but ill-conceived temptation to chase losses.
#4 Are you willing to search long and hard for the right games?
In reference to #2 above, knowing the different rules and their
effects will have you better prepared. But actually finding games
with the best rules – ones that offer an edge of under 0.5% –
that’s the key the success. Live casinos don’t offer such rules very
often. You’ll have to scour the land-based casinos from Las Vegas,
Nevada, to Ontario, Canada, to Atlantic City, New Jersey, to find the
best games. You’ll need time, patience, and discipline to stay on top
#5 Do you understand what it takes to beat the casino?
A lot of people think they can win so long as they can find that
perfect blackjack game with an edge of 0.5% or less. Do you know what
that 0.5% really means? It means you can expect to lose 0.5% of all
the money you wager.
That’s right. Even with perfect strategy and the best of odds, you’re
still looking at a negative expectation. In order to be a successful
blackjack professional, you have to turn the tides to your favor.
Luck isn’t going to cut the mustard, here. Which brings us to…
#6 Can you effectively and inconspicuously count cards?
The only way to gain an edge is to count cards, and that takes three
very specific skill sets:
Quick, basic math skills
Ability to stay cool, calm and casual
The math skills are easy, since you’re usually adding or subtracting
by a few points for each card you see. The memory is necessary so you
don’t lose count. If you do, you have to wait until a new shoe comes
into play. You’ll have to play it cool, too, because if you’re
conspicuous about it – if the casino realizes you’re counting cards
– you can either be kicked out, or the pit boss and can tell the
dealer to shuffle more often. If the deck doesn’t reach 50%
penetration, card counting is futile.
#7 Can you maintain your focus in the worst of times?
If you’re easily distracted by crowds, loud noises, annoying people,
or anything else commonly found in land-based casinos, you won’t be
able to maintain your focus on the count or the game. Likewise, if
you are easily distressed by a bad run, you’re never going to be able
to keep all of your strategies rolling at full capacity. Blackjack
isn’t something you can make money on in an hour or two, either.
Proper strategy is only going to give you about a 1% player
advantage, meaning sizable profits only come to long-term players.
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(Remember to gamble responsibly)